I have Windows 7 Home Edition 64-bit. When I download pictures from the Internet, I want to save them to a specific folder—let’s call it ABC. I right-click the picture and select Save Picture As. Then Windows Explorer sends me to Libraries\Picture Library. I then navigate to ABC folder and click it, then click Save. I right-click the second picture, but I’m sent back to the pictures library! The save dialog in Windows XP would open right at the last directory I saved photos to, so I didn’t have to click back to the ABC folder every time. Why won’t Windows 7 do the same?
Read the Doctor's answer for Glenn after the jump.
Security software firm McAfee apologized last week for issuing an update to the company's corporate antivirus suite that caused the scanner to identify a benign file in Windows XP machines as a virus. The screw up, which mainly affected XP SP3 rigs, had IT departments scrambling to repair and restore machines that had crashed.
"First off, I want to apologize on behalf of McAfee and say that we're extremely sorry for any impact the faulty signature update file may have caused you and your organizations," said Barry McPherson, executive vice president of support and customer service, in a blog post.
McPherson went on to blame the situation on a recent change made to McAfee's QA environment that resulted in a faulty DAT making its way out of the company's test environment and onto customer PCs.
McAfee didn't disclose how many computer systems were affected, though some estimates put the number in the thousands. The timing is especially bad for McAfee, as the company's consumer oriented internet security suite seemed to have turned a corner with this year's release, earning an 8 verdict in our recent 10-man security shootout.
There are some details are leaking out regarding antivirus maker McAfee's assessment of yesterday's buggy update to their corporate security software. The update caused Windows XP machines to crash left and right. The confidential documents were sent to Ed Bott, and paint a picture of poor quality control. The anonymous sender of the email says the error was totally preventable.
The document itself seems to indicate that steps in the testing process were not followed. McAfee requires peer-review of all DAT update files, and apparently that didn't happen. They also inexplicably failed to test the update with Windows XP SP3, the operating system affected by the bug. Just as a reminder, this is an enterprise product. You'd expect special attention to be paid to the QC process.
It's a little telling that McAfee's website has not been updated with any details on the error. Could it be they are working on a way to spin this unflattering evidence into a bad news/good news statement? Businesses definitely are suffering financially from this incident which will likely require techs to make a visit to each and every affected PC. Any reports from the field? Are you seeing clean-up efforts proceed as planned?
Users of McAfee's corporate antivirus product found themselves wrestling with some pretty serious problems today. The most recent DAT update for the antivirus suite caused the scanner to identify the benign Windows svchost.exe file as a virus. The antivirus' course of action is clear; it deletes the file. The result is a lot of crashed PCs and unhappy IT departments. This isn't even the first time McAfee has had an error like this.
When the gravity of the situation was made clear, McAfee pulled the update from their servers and reiterated that it had only been pushed out to machines running the corporate edition of the software. The problem, according to McAfee, mainly affects PCs running XP SP3. Given that a lot of business environments still run on XP, that's a lot of potential machines.
McAfee has issued a "fix", but inexplicably, it only helps those who haven't yet had their machines crash after receiving the update. Currently, the only way for IT departments to fix the issue involves repairing the Windows install manually. Has anyone out there had any experience with this bug today?
Microsoft announced today that hardware level virtualization will no longer be required to run XP Mode on Windows 7. The change is effective immediately, but those already running XP Mode don’t need to get new copies. Any users on Windows 7 Professional or higher can download and run the new code regardless of hardware support.
The news that XP Mode would need hardware virtualization was a bit dismaying to some. It was ofeten difficult to tell if a CPU had the correct features, and some surprisingly modern CPUs lacked them. The scale of the discontent led Microsoft to develop a way to run XP Mode without the BIOS level virtualization.
If you’re on a Windows 7 system without hardware virtualization, you can get your free copy of XP Mode for 32-bit or 64-bit.
It’s a change that makes sense, and is probably long overdue. The current formatting standard for hard drives is a legacy from floppy disks--formatting in blocks of 512 bytes. This makes for a lot of wasted hard drive space, when error correction and block gaps are tallied in. Given the amount of space that can be wasted on a 1TB drive with 512 byte blocks, it’s time for a change.
The new standard, promulgated by the International Disk Drive Equipment and Materials Association (Idema), which all hard drive makers have committed to adopting, is a 4K block. Besides an eight-fold reduction of the amount of unused space, this standard doubles the amount of error correction per block. Hard drive makers can squeeze out more storage capacity on the same size hardware. Steve Perkins, a technical consultant for Western Digital, estimates the format to be about 7 percent to 11 percent more efficient.
Windows 7 (and Vista), along with Apple’s Tiger, Leopard, and Snow Leopard versions of OS X, and all builds of Linux released after September 2009 are 4K aware--they can handle the new formatting standard, no problem. But XP can’t. It’s stuck, permanently, in the 512 byte block world. Hard drive manufacturers know this, so they have built in emulation for the 512 byte block size. The emulation, however, can result in slower performance. David Burks of Seagate anticipates a 10% drop in performance for XP users.
It’s not a big hit, to be sure, but it is a start. With hardware development on-going, and XP frozen in time, it’s not a matter of if XP will become obsolete, but when. That day, to the possible chagrin of some XP users, may be sooner than they'd like.
I love my PC, but it has just gone wacko! I keep getting this error on Windows XP: “Parser message: Value creation failed at line 544.”
I put my PC to sleep, but the message pops up repeatedly before it will sleep. Once it returns from sleep, the same message pops up five times, followed by the Classic startup screen. I don’t use the classic theme, but I couldn’t figure out what was going on so I just dismissed the error and kept playing the game I was playing. The next day the error was back. Help!
I just bought a used PC running Windows XP. It had been really fast loading and running programs and accessing the web, but suddenly it slowed down to a complete stop. I had to unplug it just to shut it down.
So, I unplugged the Ethernet cable and it worked fine. I scanned the C: drive—no virus. Plugged the Ethernet cable back in and it slowed down again. Unplugged the Ethernet and it’s fast again. What’s going on, Doc?
If you have a smartphone, there’s probably at least one thing missing from it. Any idea what that might be? If you answered a clunky desktop operating system experience, you are apparently correct. The long rumored xpPhone seems to be one step closer to reality now that it has a price. According to the phone’s maker, ITG, the price is expected to be 3000-4500 Chinese RMB, depending on options. That’s about $400-650 in the US.
Overall, the price isn’t outlandish. Many unlocked smartphones sell for similar prices. The xpPhone is no ordinary phone though. In fact, it’s like something straight out of Intel’s fantasies where MIDs actually took off. First off, it is massive, packing a 4.8-inch LCD display. There’s support for multiple 3G bands, a USB port, VGA-out, and even a tiny trackpad on the keyboard.
There will apparently be custom phone software on the device, making its essential functions a bit more usable. We are still less than convinced that running a full version of XP on something of this form factor is a good idea. Still though, there will be plenty of time to judge it when, and if it comes out.
Although USB flash drives have become the most popular way to transport project files between systems, you're probably looking for a cheaper way to distribute presentations, music, photo, or video compilations. For these jobs and others, creating a CD or DVD make more sense. However, there's plenty of confusion at home and the office when it comes to what media to choose and how to write your files.
Read on to discover our ultimate guide to CD and DVD media, burn strategies, and freeware CD and DVD burning programs.